Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., "shocked" President Barack Obama and his party by announcing his plan to retire from the Senate. Appearing on CBS' "The Early Show," Bayh explained: Washington suffers from acute partisanship. Washington doesn't work. It is broken.
How noble -- a principled position against "divisiveness." Let us honor a good man standing tall against the lack of "bipartisanship." Pass the barf bag.
When has Washington, D.C., not been "divisive" under a president pushing unpopular ideas -- whether the war in Iraq, the Senate "amnesty" bill, partial privatization of Social Security or Bill Clinton's attempt to allow gays to serve openly in the military?
Could it be that the "fed-up" senator feared losing re-election? Don't ask. CBS didn't. The possibility that Bayh faced a tough re-election wasn't even hinted at. But imagine Bayh, who explored a 2008 presidential bid, running for re-election while justifying to skeptical Hoosiers his votes for "stimulus," TARP, the auto bailouts and ObamaCare.
Here's the big underreported story.
In a hypothetical race against undeclared candidate Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind. -- according to a recent Rasmussen poll of likely voters -- Bayh was down 3 points. Against another possible opponent, former House Republican John Hostettler, he was only ahead by 3 points. Welcome to the new normal. No Democrat or squishy Republican is safe.
By a 2-1 margin, more people call themselves politically conservative than liberal. Self-identified "independents," who outnumber both the Dems and the Republicans, have turned against Obama with a vengeance. This center-right country now realizes it elected a left-winger for president. And voters don't like what they see or what he's doing.
Even Bayh, perhaps inadvertently, let on that he believes the "stimulus" failed to stimulate. "If I could create one job in the private sector by helping to grow a business," he said, "that would be one more than Congress has created in the last six months."
Politicians face voters upset with spending, borrowing and an ever-increasing federal government. The Constitution's framers wanted "gridlock," with laws deliberated at length before vote and implementation. Government was never designed for "change" or to "solve problems" -- if this means bigger government. Our government was designed to be limited.